Champions League: City top Madrid 4-3 in breathless semi-final 1st leg | Loop Jamaica

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Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal from penalty during the Champions League semi final, first leg football match against Manchester City at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, Tuesday, April 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson).

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City just couldn’t shake off Real Madrid.

In a wild Champions League match that resembled a basketball game at times, City beat Madrid 4-3 in the first leg of the semifinals but will leave Etihad Stadium wondering how the record 13-time champions were still in it.

Ultimately, Karim Benzema’s cheeky “Panenka” penalty in the 82nd minute saw Madrid escape with some hope of pulling off a comeback in next week’s second leg at Santiago Bernabeu.

City, looking to reach the final for a second straight year, were 2-0 ahead after 11 minutes — through goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus — and should have been further clear before Benzema steered in a volley in the 33rd.

Phil Foden restored City’s two-goal lead in the 53rd, Vinicius Junior replied two minutes later for Madrid and the chances kept coming for both teams before Bernardo Silva curled a shot inside the near post after the referee played the advantage following a foul on Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Benzema had the final say on the night by converting a penalty after Aymeric Laporte’s handball to become the competition’s top scorer on 14 goals.


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